This focaccia recipe is for the traditional Ligurian plain kind focaccia and is the basis for most other focaccia variation recipes. Focacia is more than just a flatbread and is considered one of the culinary icons of the Ligurian cuisine. It can be found in other regions of Italy but the Ligurian variety is hard to beat...
Dissolve the yeast in a one-half cup of warm water with the helping of a fork. It is important to make sure that the water is indeed warm and not boiled.
Next place the flour on a tray in the form of a well and pour the yeast mixture in the well. Mix with the flour with your hands and work the dough until it absorbs the liquid. The aim is to get to soft, homogeneous dough so pay attention while you are working the dough - add a little water if it feels too dry; or a little flour if it gets too sticky.
Always add small amounts of water or flour as it will make it easier for you to get to the right consistency. The more you work the dough the better will be the result.
Next cover with the prepared dough and leave it to rest for about 4 hours, under a cloth. The warmer the place, the quicker it will grow.
Check the dough after the 4 hours to make sure that it is pretty grown. If it is not, let it rest for another couple of hours. To be on the save side you can make the dough last thing in the evening before you go to bed and let it rest overnight.
Next warm your oven to its highest temperature (250°C or 482°F).
Take a baking tray and grease generously its bottom with extra virgin olive oil. Finally, take the grown dough and place it in the middle of the tray. Spread it out to the edges of the tray with your fingers roll it, up to a thickness of about 1cm. Do the characteristic focaccia dimples by pressing your fingers in the dough.
Next sprinkle the dough with salt (better if it is freshly grounded salt or Fleur de Sel ) and drizzle olive oil mixed with a little water. Then put in the warmed oven, and cook until it starts to brown slightly. Serve hot.
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